How will EU citizens’ rights be protected after exit day?

The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill gives effect to the Withdrawal Agreement in domestic law. This will ensure that individuals can rely directly on these rights in the UK courts, and will implement the rights to equal treatment and non-discrimination for EU citizens living or working in the UK. Protection of UK nationals living or working in the EU will be provided for by Member States.

The timeline of EU citizens’ rights in the UK:

EXIT DAY

UK leaves the EU and implementation period begins

IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD (UNTIL 31 DECEMBER 2020)

During the time limited implementation period EU citizens will have the same rights in the UK as they did before the UK left the EU

GRACE PERIOD

EU citizens will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for a minimum of six months after 31 December 2020

EU citizens will be able to rely on their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement during the grace period, or until their application is complete

POST-GRACE PERIOD

EU citizens will have secured their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement and can continue living their lives broadly as they do now

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME

The Withdrawal Agreement provides EU citizens and their family members living in the UK at the end of the implementation period with the right to continue to stay in the UK. EU citizens and their family members can apply for residence status through the EU Settlement Scheme.

The EU Settlement Scheme has been set up via the Immigration Rules because they are already the mechanism for granting leave to enter or remain in the UK. The EU Settlement Scheme has been fully open since 30 March 2019 and is designed to give effect to the UK’s commitments under the Withdrawal Agreement.

From Gov.UK

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